There are tons of opportunities to celebrate Black History Month in Seattle this February (and beyond!), and we've rounded up the highlights below. Read on for all the details on everything from movie screenings (like the mini-documentary fest Keepers of the Dream: Seattle Women Black Panthers) to live performances (like August Wilson’s Jitney) to food events (like Chef Edouardo Jordan's month-long lineup of events). For even more options, check out our complete Black History Month calendar.



Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra: Tribute to Billie Holiday
Eternal inspiration, muse, and icon Billie Holiday will be served up a fitting tribute by Seattle chanteuse Jacqueline Tabor, in concert with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra.
Benaroya Hall (Downtown)


8th Annual BSU Legacy Soiree
UW's Black Student Union will embrace the "New Harlem Renaissance" at this Black History Month celebration promising live music, performances, honoraria, keynote speakers, a catered dinner, and more.
UW Intellectual House (University District)


It's All Happening: The Harlem Renaissance
Seattle's favorite literary burlesque company Noveltease Theatre will combine the powerful forces of poetry, striptease, and live music. This edition with Onyx Asili, Caféaulait Olé, Carson St. Clair, and others will celebrate Langston Hughes' birthday and the poets of the Harlem Renaissance.
Cafe Nordo (Pioneer Square)



Sound Theatre Company kicks off its 2020 season with the world premiere of Darren Canady's Reparations, a speculative drama about healing inherited traumas using a device that transforms your blood into a time machine. The cast features Allyson Lee Brown, whose turn as Serena Williams in Citizen: An American Lyric drew effusive praise from Stranger editor Christopher Frizzelle: "[Brown is] such a captivating presence onstage, it's hard to look away from her." Jay O'Leary, who did such a great job pulling the good acting out of the players in Washington Ensemble Theatre's B, will direct. This production is stacked with so much talent—it is certainly one of the most highly anticipated shows of the season. RICH SMITH
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute (Central District)



Charles B. Kastner: Race Across America
In the late 1920s, Seattle-born runner Eddie "The Sheik" Gardner endured racist death threats and other forms of harassment as he competed in the Transcontinental Foot Race across America. Charles B. Kastner chronicles the athlete's journey in his biography Race Across America, which he'll read from on two occasions.
University Bookstore (University District) & Elliott Bay Book Company (Capitol Hill) 



Black Voices: A Community Opportunity
For this inaugural weeklong series of events organized by Shoreline Public Schools, check out talks—including a talk with Tanisha Brandon-Felder and Jesse Hagopian titled "Teaching Black Lives" (Mon Feb 3 at Shorewood High School)—a Black Books Fair (Feb 4-5 at Ridgecrest Elementary School), and other special events. 
Various locations (Shoreline)



Black History Month with Chef Edouardo Jordan
For Black History Month, James Beard Award-winning chef Edouardo Jordan of Junebaby, Salare, and Lucinda Grain Bar has planned a month-long series of events, including interactive food events, seminars, and community service, in collaboration with the Urban League of Seattle. Chefs, authors, "culinary dignitaries," and other community figures will be featured. The month kicks off with Cocktails and Conversation with Leaders of Color (Mon Feb 3), including chef Nina Compton, police chief Carmen Best, fire chief Harold Scoggins, Percy Abram Head of The Bush School, and Jordan himself. Next, Soul of Seattle (Fri Feb 7) will showcase 10 Seattle-area chefs of color who “embody the diverse fabric of Seattle’s food scene,” including Makini Howell of Plum Bistro, Trey Lamont of Jerk Shack, and Kristi Brown of That Brown Girl Cooks. Other events include a wine dinner with Bertony Faustin of Abbey Creek Wines (Thurs Feb 13), the first noted black winemaker in the Pacific Northwest; a chef dinner with prominent food justice activist and author Bryant Terry (Sun Feb 16); and a chef dinner with former Top Chef contestant Nyesha Arrington (Thurs Feb 27).
Various locations



Marisa Williamson: 'The Angel of History' and 'The Runaway'
Once again, Jacob Lawrence Gallery and SOIL Gallery display work by a resident black artist. This year, internationally exhibited artist Marisa Williamson, who works in video, performance, and installation, has been selected to introduce Seattle to her work about "themes of history, race, feminism, and technology."
Jacob Lawrence Gallery (University District) & SOIL (Pioneer Square)



Young, Gifted, & Black
As part of Black Lives Matter at School Week, join talented students from Seattle Public Schools for an evening of performances dedicated to legendary singer and civil rights activist Nina Simone. 
Rainier Beach High School (Rainier Valley)


Kijiji Night
The Seattle Art Museum and One Vibe Africa (a local nonprofit that aims to educate the general public about African culture and promote social welfare and economic empowerment) present this free art, music, poetry, and performance festival whose name means "village" in Swahili. This year's edition will include a fashion show curated by African firm KOELES, music by Jemere Morgan, Alana Bell, King Khazm, Kama, Nje, the Ancient Robotz, and DJ Topspin aka Blendiana Jones, and dance by Etienne Cakpo.
Seattle Art Museum (Downtown)


Dear Iconic Black Sista: Your Healing is History Making
Art therapist Dalisha Phillips will lead a letter-writing activity that explores healing, black history, and inspiration from NAAM's current exhibition Iconic Black Women: Ain't I a Woman.
Northwest African American Museum (Atlantic)



Noir Black History Month Shows
The drag queens of Noir will fill out the month with shows honoring black icons and pop culture, including performances dedicated to Whitney Houston (Thurs Feb 6), female rappers (Thurs Feb 13), and black sitcoms (Fri Feb 28).  
Timbre Room (Downtown)



Kenneth Moore: Another Conversation in Black Surreality
Kenneth Moore, who was born in 1949, is a black Los Angeles-based surrealist artist who had never had a solo exhibition in Seattle until last year's show in this gallery. He's also the founder of the jazz club Howling Monk, and jazz sensibilities permeate his visual style.
Frederick Holmes and Company (Pioneer Square)



Keepers of the Dream: Seattle Women Black Panthers
This mini-fest of five short documentaries, produced by Patricia Boiko and Tajuan LaBee, serves as an introduction to the courageous actions of women Black Panther activists, from Frances Dixon to Phyllis Noble Mobley. Local musical star SassyBlack provides the scores. Stay on for a Q&A with the filmmakers, plus activists Vanetta Molson-Turner, Youlanda Givens, and Winona Hollins Hauge, facilitated by assistant director Malika Lee.
Northwest Film Forum (Capitol Hill)


Richard Bell: Stolen
Richard Bell's historical fiction novel set in the 1800s draws from the true story of five boys from Philadelphia who were kidnapped and smuggled into slavery in the South—and their attempt to escape and bring their captors to justice. 
Elliott Bay Book Company (Capitol Hill)



Warren Pope: Red Lines, Blood Lines
The artist continues to explore African heritage and systemic inequities in the West through minimalist lines, shapes, and color. 
Vashon Center for the Arts (Vashon Island)



Hot Jazz at the Gallery with the Jacqueline Tabor Jazz Band
Local jazz vocalist Jacqueline Tabor—who won the Earshot Jazz Vocalist of the Year award in 2018—and her faithful ensemble will fill the gallery with live music. The show honors featured artist Kenneth Moore, whose paintings are on display for Black History Month. 
Frederick Holmes and Company (Pioneer Square)


'Black Power Mixtape' Film Screening
Catch a screening of Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975, which features audio interviews with black artists, activists, musicians, and scholars. 
Northwest African American Musem (Atlantic)



smARTfilms: Black Excellence
This series, curated by Sade McInnis, includes five films that showcase black brilliance: I Am Not Your Negro (Feb 11), Fences (Feb 18), Precious (Feb 25), Do the Right Thing March 3), and If Beale Street Could Talk (March 10).
Bainbridge Island Museum of Art



Fade to Black: 'Tales From the Hood'
This monthly horror film series will kick off Black History Month with a screening of Rusty Cundieff's 1995 classic Tales from the Hood, which the organizers plant firmly in the "urban horror" genre. Curator and hostess Isabelle L. Price (aka "Seattle's Queen of Halloween") will lead a post-film discussion. 
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute (Central District)


The Folks Project
The Folks Project, a side collective of local talents D’Vonne Lewis, Darrius Willrich, Evan Flory-Barnes, and Owour Arunga, pay tribute to the legacy of jazz culture and music that came out of the Central District, honoring artists like Quincy Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Ernestine Anderson, Floyd Sandiford, Buddy Catlett, and Anthony Ray, whom you may know as Sir Mix-A-Lot.
Triple Door (Downtown)



No Small Talk: Loving Black
Join the UW School of Social Work's Association of Black Social Work Students for a discussion on the interpersonal and intimate relationships between black people. 
Northwest African American Museum (Atlantic)



Dani Tirrell: Black Bois
In Black Bois, which sold out its 2018 world premiere run at On the Boards pretty quickly, choreographer/dancer Dani Tirrell assembles a many-gendered supergroup of Seattle performers, each of whom could easily carry their own full-length show. Together they create a show about the irreducibility of black experience. Tirrell and the cast fight back against a world that tends to flatten and fragment blackness into digestible, dismissible bits and instead, gives you all of it—the pain, the rage, the joy, the grief, the eroticism, the spirituality, the madness, the clarity, the multiplicity of the individual, and the deep-rooted particularities of the communities. RICH SMITH
Moore Theatre (Belltown)



The Best of Quincy Jones
The catalog of Seattle’s favorite musical icon—well, maybe after Jimi Hendrix—presents a vastly enjoyable smörgåsbord of music for a symphony to plunder. Hell, you could build a long, rewarding program strictly around Q’s output for film (In Cold Blood, The Hot Rock, In the Heat of the Night, etc.) and TV (“Sanford & Son Theme [The Streetbeater]” is a zenith of the latter medium). The guy may have worked with Michael Jackson and Frank Sinatra and produced/conducted the aesthetically egregious “We Are the World,” but Jones is also responsible for loads of sublimely soulful and funky compositions that have gone under the radar, despite his global fame. Let’s hope his lesser-known works get some love from the Seattle Symphony and guests over these three nights. DAVE SEGAL
Benaroya Hall (Downtown)



Black Women Building Political Power: Voices Past and Present
Learn about the history of black women who lent their courage and energy to the suffrage movement, despite mainstream white feminists' racism, and discover how black women and youth today lead political movements to fight against discrimination and voter suppression.
Museum of History & Industry (South Lake Union)



Through the Eyes of Art: A Salute to Black Comedy
In this entertaining annual tribute to black excellence, community members, political leaders, artists, and others will explore the rich incarnations of black comedy and its role in raising awareness of social issues.
MoPOP (Seattle Center)



Charlie Parker's 'Yardbird'
Jazz icon Charlie Parker gets the operatic treatment in this Seattle Opera production of Daniel Schnyder's Yardbird, a journey through limbo by Parker, who struggles to complete his last masterpiece amidst a series of flashbacks that showcase the glorious heyday of iconic NYC jazz club Birdland, as well as the failures and victories of Parker's dynamic life. Plus, check out related events like Angela Brown and John Keene in recital (Tues Feb 4), a talk on Charlie Parker with Jonathan Dean (Tues Feb 11), a discussion on black representation in the arts (Thurs Feb 13), a screening of the biopic Bird (Thurs Feb 20), and a jazz show with the D’Vonne Lewis Quartet (Mon Feb 24).
McCaw Hall (Seattle Center)



Phinney Black History Month Celebration
This family-friendly Black History Month celebration will include a keynote speech from YMCA Seattle Corporate Relations Officer Alicia Crank, plus performances from the Northside Step Team and complimentary refreshments.
Phinney Neighborhood Association


Seattle Black Film Festival 2020
I have yet to attend a Langston Hughes African American Film Festival that doesn’t have an important black-directed or black-themed film that’s somehow been missed by the wider film community or is unavailable in any format—web, disk, cable, theater. CHARLES MUDEDE
Bainbridge Island Museum of Art



Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Ladysmith Black Mambazo have a whole bunch of guys singing bass. That's the secret to their success. Okay, Paul Simon "found" them, and that's been the secret to their success in what we loosely term "the West." By 1986, though, when Ladysmith Black Mambazo recorded and performed with Simon, they already had more than 20 albums in their native South Africa. Now they have more than 50 albums. They never stop touring, and they've outlasted the racist apartheid system under which the older members grew up. They're still ambassadors to South African culture. And they make people happy—boldly, unironically, and enthusiastically. ANDREW HAMLIN
Neptune Theatre (University District)



Mitchell S. Jackson: Survival Math
Portland-born author Mitchell Jackson will read from his critically acclaimed memoir, Survival Math: Notes on an American Family, in which he shares insights into "how black men survive to become insights of everyone's survival."
Elliott Bay Book Company (Capitol Hill)



August Wilson’s 'Jitney'
It is not at all amazing to claim that August Wilson is one of the greatest American playwrights of the 20th century. The more amazing thing to say about Wilson is this: He was the greatest black American economist of the 20th century. Indeed, Wilson's first play, Jitney, is not only a masterpiece of 1970s economics, but it also predicted the rideshare economy of our times. The play, which Seattle Rep is staging under the direction of the talented Ruben Santiago-Hudson, is about black cab drivers who informally serve Pittsburgh's black community because white-owned cabs will not. The business is owned by the play's key character, Jim Becker, a man in his 60s who retired after devoting decades of his life to a Pittsburgh steel plant. In Jitney, we see the capital-starved working conditions for black men who have pensions or served in the army. They do whatever they can to make ends meet. But no matter how much time and innovation they invest in their economy, the returns always fall short of settling real needs. CHARLES MUDEDE
Seattle Repertory Theatre (Seattle Center)



Black History Month Community Celebration 2020
Learn about the history of Seattle hip-hop, the African diaspora, and antiracist social justice opportunities at this all-day event. In between panels, check out a community expo spread out across the galleries. Drinking-age people can stay on for an after-party with live DJs and art activities. 
Bainbridge Island Museum of Art


African American Writers' Alliance with Georgia McDade
Hear poets from the Northwest's African American community in a reading organized by the NW African American Writers' Alliance, which promotes emerging and seasoned writers and publishes anthologies. Local author Georgia McDade will make a special appearance. 
Elliott Bay Book Company (Capitol Hill)

NAAM Presents Descendants Series
For this special edition of NAAM's Descendants Series, which features conversations with living descendants of notable African American civil rights figures and activists, join relatives of enslaved 19th-century freedom-seekers like Solomon Northrup (whose story inspired the film 12 Years a Slave). 
Northwest African American Museum (Atlantic)


Wa Na Wari Winter Exhibition
The Central District gallery's winter show is another lineup of terrific black artistic talent: internationally exhibited film artist Amir George, narrative painter Ronald Hall, Afrocentric sculptor Shurvon Haynes, and Jaleesa Johnston. See non-linear video, dynamic painting, a symbolic mandala, and mixed-media sculpture about the black female body.
Wa Na Wari (Central District)



Iconic Black Women: Ain't I a Woman
Hiawatha D. pays artistic tribute to brilliant black women of history with his signature abstract style inspired by cubism and surrealism. 
Northwest African American Museum (Atlantic)

Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth.
This traveling Smithsonian show highlights the achievements of African American men, from the Harlem Hellfighters to John Coltrane to LeBron James.
Washington State History Museum (Tacoma)



Exploring Passages Within the Black Diaspora
In this massive linkup of the Frye Art Museum, Jacob Lawrence Gallery, Photographic Center Northwest, and independent curator Berette Macaulay, the cause célèbre is female-identifying photographers of the Black diaspora. This is courtesy of the MFON Collective (a journal and movement founded by artists Delphine Barrayn and Laylah Fawundu, and named after Nigerian American photographer Mmekutmfon “Mfon” Essien), which brings attention to photography rarely seen, celebrated, or critically engaged by the art world at large. At PCNW, work by these artists will be on display for viewers to take in. And cheers to that. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Photographic Center Northwest (Capitol Hill)